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212                           LETTERS   FROM   THE

I have only nine prisoners to superintend
here, and one of them has given me an oppor-
tunity of showing my skill as a doctor—much to
my own surprise. He had had an ague on him
for eight months. Recollecting the remedy which
cured the folks at Menil, I luckily got the calamus
aromaticus here, gave him a dose in a glass of
wine, and ordered him some broth. The ague
left him that day, and has never returned.

I conclude my exile will not be prolonged
beyond the 25th of this month, when they say
the elections will be over. For my part, I should
have no objection to another month's exile at
this fine season of the year, and this charming
situation, where I am absolutely obliged to do
nothing. Being forced into idleness is a great
temptation towards liking it, and one easily learns
all the luxury of the far niente. I shall turn up
my nose at the dirt and closeness of Paris when
I return. How long I shall have to remain there
will depend upon what our ministers will order
me to say or do, agreeable or disagreeable.

May i6th, 1797.

We  spent  a   pleasant   day yesterday, having
dined at St. Brian, a chateau near the first post